Pa. church serves up election night tradition

November 08, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - With layers of red sauce and white cheese, the steaming slices of lasagna easily resembled the American flag printed on napkins beside the plates.

They also coordinated colors well with the "I Voted" stickers on the shirts and jackets of Tuesday evening's diners at St. Mary's Episcopal Church.

"Our slogan is 'Go vote, come eat,'" head cook Liz George said.

The Waynesboro church at 112 E. Second St. has been serving lasagna dinners on election night for more than 10 years. The $6 cost benefits general church programs, the Rev. Linda Watkins said.

"We keep increasing the number we serve," George said. The church served 80 people in 2005 and prepared meals for 100 people this year, she said.


In addition to the lasagna with five varieties of cheese, the Episcopal Church of Women served salad, garlic bread, applesauce, beverages, ice cream and cookies.

The meal elicited the descriptions of "good," "very good" and "delicious" from this year's attendees.

"We came up for this, and we voted earlier today," said Larry Boyer of Hagerstown. He and his wife, Sheila, saw a poster for the event and visited the church for the first time.

Waynesboro's John Esser and family have eaten at the church on election night several times. Esser's granddaughters, 4-year-old Rylee and 2-year-old Hannah, sat before blue and red place mats next to parents Rodger and Megan Knepper of Waynesboro.

At the next table, Dan and Pat Domenick of Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., befriended Bill and Jo Spigler of Waynesboro. All had voted for the day and been to the election dinner in previous years.

"We come off and on," Pat Domenick said, explaining that St. Mary's Episcopal Church is the sister church of Blue Ridge Summit's Church of the Transfiguration, which the couple attends.

Ken and Elaine Stilts of Zullinger, Pa., raved about the food in their first election night visit. The pair stopped in after voting.

This year, each pan of lasagna was prepared Monday at the church.

"We've changed our custom," Watkins said. "It used to be several ladies made their own recipe and brought them in."

St. Mary's Episcopal Church first joined the lasagna dinner with election night when the two fell on the same day.

"It's a pretty long-standing tradition," Watkins said.

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